A moonlit stroll past one of Belize’s most beautiful beaches turns into a drama involving the daughter-in-law of British billionaire and lord Michael Ashcroft, a major donor to Boris Johnson’s conservative party. Friday night at the Mata Rocks resort on the island of Ambergris Caye, made famous by Madonna in the song La Isla Bonita, Henry Jemmott, 42, police superintendent and longtime friend of the family, died. To end up in a cell, on charges of negligent manslaughter, Jasmin Hartin, Andrew Ashcroft’s partner with whom he had two children.
What exactly happened that night remains shrouded in mystery worthy of a detective novel. Hartin had just returned from a party in San Pedro, the island’s main town, and was going to have a drink at the house with the policeman who was off duty. The two would then decide to do a walk on the pier in front of the villa to watch the moon and chat despite the curfew in effect from 10pm to 5am. Friends swear there was no relationship between the two.
The woman, 32, told officers, in tears and still full of blood, that the man was showing her his service pistol to get her to buy one. when an accident would go off. The policeman, a big man 1.82 meters tall and weighing 135 kg, hit in the back of the head, would have fallen on her and then ended up in the sea. Other reconstructions, however, speak of a real pistol game which, due to alcohol and the unstable emotional situation, would have turned into tragedy.
Now Hartin locked up in a cell in the Hattieville prison, which Netflix, in a series, has included among the worst prisons in the world. Here she will have to wait for the trial to begin unless she gets so much longed for bail that she has so far been denied for fear of an escape attempt to her country, Canada. The next preliminary hearing will be held on Wednesday. And many expect special treatment for the businesswoman given her connection to Belize’s most influential family. Lord Ashcroft, who has dual citizenship, first arrived in Belize with his father in 1953 at the age of seven. Then, after the conquest of independence in 1981, it has greatly contributed to the development of the small state economy Central American with banks, communication companies and tourist activities. Between 1998 and 2000 he was also the representative of Belize to the UN. He had recently funded the police department where Jemmott worked and a prison wing where his daughter-in-law was held.
Hartin risks up to 5 years in prison but the penalty could easily be transformed into a pecuniary sanction. The fear, however, that the harsh prison life will not stand up. Two years ago, a prisoner awaiting trial sued the prison for lack of sheets, blankets and sunlight, denouncing the presence of scorpions, tarantulas and cockroaches. Hartin and Ashcroft had met Jemmott because he worked in the San Pedro area where they do business. The victim, who leaves behind six children, was in a good time in his life and was about to receive a long-awaited promotion.
June 6, 2021 (change June 6, 2021 | 13:13)
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